The personal tax return filing deadline is fast approaching, so here are some tips and must-reads for you and your clients:

  • Defer deductions: If clients can’t use every applicable, non-refundable tax credit for 2012, help them defer things like RRSP contributions and capital cost allowances. This also helps if they expect to earn higher-rate incomes in the future.
  • Leverage charitable donations: The federal tax credit for donations is available as a low-rate credit on the first $200 contributed, and as a high-rate credit on the rest. To benefit from the high rate, have only one spouse claim all family donations. People can also accumulate donations over a few years.


Charitable tax credits flexible after death

When to talk philanthropy

  • Business owners can cut costs: Business-related deductions can cover many expenses. This includes: parking; business association fees; home-office expenses; entertainment; company cell phones; depreciation on computers; and salaries paid to assistants.

Read: Canada’s corporate tax rate remains competitive

  • Did your clients move? If someone relocated in 2012 to start a new job or business, they can claim the related expenses if an employer didn’t cover them.

Read: Moving in together? Think tax benefits

  • Cash in on carry-forward amounts: By reviewing prior-year returns and notices of assessment, customers can determine if you have any carry-forward balances that may be used as deductions or credits for 2012.

Check out these link and share with clients:

Should clients file their own taxes?

Penny pinchers prefer to file their own taxes, but experts warn saving a few dollars up front might end up costing more in the end.

Two ways to deduct interest

Borrowing to invest doesn’t always lead to tax deductions.

Area 52: Know your pension adjustments

You’re looking to squeeze every drop of tax-advantaged savings and investment for their clients. Understanding the number in box 52 of your clients’ T4 slips will help you do just that.

Handle U.S. tax estate exposure

If your clients own U.S. Securities, their executors may have to pay U.S. estate tax and file U.S. returns.

4 ways to use a tax refund

If clients have a refund coming their way, they should use the funds wisely.

Dispute an unfavourable tax assessment

The steps people must take to dispute their assessments.